Saturday, 6 November 2021

Daniel Dae Kim joins the live-action AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER project

Veteran actor Daniel Dae Kim (Lost, Hawaii Five-O, Crusade) has joined Netflix's live-action version of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Kim will play Fire Lord Ozai, the ruler of the Fire Nation and the primary antagonist of the series.

It's a reunion between Kim and the franchise, as he previously voiced the character of General Fong in the original series (and a spin-off video game), and also voiced recurring character Hiroshi Sato on the sequel series, The Legend of Korra.

Kim is a good catch for the project, as the actor-producer-writer is a hot Hollywood property these days in television, having recently acted in or produced The Hot Zone: Anthrax, New Amsterdam, The Good Doctor and The Premise.

The previously-announced cast includes Gordon Cormier as Aang, Kiawentiio as Katar, Ian Ousley as Sokka and Dallas Liu as Prince Zuko, Fire Lord Ozai's son. Albert Kim is the showrunner and head writer, taking over from Avatar franchise creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino, who quit the project in 2020 following creative differences with Netflix. Konietzko and DiMartino are now heading up Avatar Studios for Nickelodeon, which will produce new animated projects in the Avatar universe.

Kim's casting as a series regular hints that the adaptation will delve into the Fire Nation's politics and Zuko's complicated family earlier than in the animated series, where Ozai (voiced by Mark Hamill) did not appear until the end of Season 1. Fans are particularly keen to find out who is playing the role of Uncle Iroh, Ozai's brother and Zuko's uncle, who accompanies his nephew into exile.

Netflix's take on Avatar: The Last Airbender is expected to enter production imminently for a late 2022/early 2023 debut.

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